Inner Girl Child

For Lindy

I’ve written this poem a thousand times in my head
Before I ever put pen to paper.

You see, there’s a part of me that’s not–not a lot–
Just some flotsam discarded on a road long unguarded.
I left Lindy by the wayside before I turned 25,
And although I tried, I couldn’t stop looking
Over-shoulder to see if she came after.

She followed me home until I cut the strings
And threw large, jagged stones.

The leaving of that shade lifted me lighter,
And her absence allowed me to see the you in me.
I could finally contemplate the path to the ocean.
But back she comes, a haunting, a displaced, leering
Jester unable to see her court has crumbled.

She wails sometimes, in the night, wondering why, and I
Shut the door, turn out the light.

And while I write, she asks me to pay
Ten thousand and ten ablutions,
Seven-hundred and seventy-seven affirmations,
And at least 108 recitations of some creation
For the briefest touch of a lock of your hair.

The payments might assuage guilt, but mantras cannot erase
How easily I laugh at your jokes.

I’ve sent Lindy away, many times, but she keeps returning,
Singing sad songs, stuck in a time-trapped playground
With sand in her shoes, frustrated at crush-choosing because a girl shouldn’t
Need a man to make her, angry at the color pink, furious to be female, and
Longing to explode and teach them all what a Real Woman can do.

Her tears fell in rivers for so long that even my subconscious streams were polluted
By those unending, sorrow-full sounds.

Yet lately, I’ve been listening to her lyrics, and she sometimes
Catches me swaying with her in time to the music, like we’re One.
The world struck me a sound blow to the gut when I first learned
Humans kill humans, and I think Lindy has a point in her sadness–
So much that I’ve begun singing her songs.

I add joyful harmonies to her bereaved ballads, bringing her to stillness, and she
Falls asleep in my arms, silent and done with tears.

I won’t send the inner-girl-child away! No longer will she
Linger on my doorstep. She has guest-right, and I will see her smile.
You’re shenanigans make her beam dawn-light through white curtains,
Make her grin iced-lemonade when summer sun beats the grass flat,
And your eyes hide a drum-beat that makes us want to dance.

Photo By: Yann (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons